Tennessee Code Title 45. Banks and Financial Institutions § 45-2-711

(a)(1) Notwithstanding § 30-2-317 , where no executor or administrator of a decedent has qualified and given notice of the person's qualifications to the bank, or where the qualified executor or administrator of a decedent has been discharged and a check or checks made payable to the decedent is presented to the bank for payment or collection, the bank may, in its discretion, and at any time after ninety (90) days from the death of the deceased, negotiate or send for collection and pay out the proceeds of one (1) or more checks made payable to the deceased, whether written or electronic, all sums that do not exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) in the aggregate:

(A) To the executor named in any will known to the bank whether probated or not;

(B) To any personal representative appointed by a court whether active or discharged;  or

(C) In the absence of knowledge of a purported will naming a surviving executor or an administrator to the:

(i) Surviving spouse;  or

(ii) Next of kin.

(2) In the case of conflicting claims, the order of priority shall be that set out in subdivision (a)(1).

(b) The receipt of any guardian, administrator or executor, duly appointed or qualified by the courts of this state, or any other state, or of any spouse or next of kin acknowledging the negotiation, payment or transfer of funds of a check, standing in the name of the person whose estate the fiduciary represents, shall be a good and sufficient acquittance for payment or transfer and shall constitute a valid defense in favor of the bank against the demands or claims of all parties.

(c) The negotiation or payment of a check under this section without an endorsement of the payee or with the endorsement of a person authorized by this section to negotiate the check shall not be a violation of or give rise to any claim under title 47, chapter 3 or 4.

(d) No bank shall be liable for damages, penalty or tax by reason of any payment made pursuant to this section.


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